Statue has stirred recent controversy; Curry focusing on hurricane threat
Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Lenny Curry called overnight vandalism of a Confederate monument at Hemming Park in Downtown “disgusting.”
“This goes against everything that I stand for, that the City of Jacksonville stands for,” Curry said.
The statue of a Confederate soldier and the surrounding pool was found covered with red spray paint early Wednesday morning.
Written across the monument were the words “KKK,” “free slaves,” and “free KKK.”
Crews scrubbed the plaza tiles and wrapped the monument with a tarp until it can be cleaned.
Curry said the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is treating the incident as a criminal investigation.
He said he wants people to remember that the men and women of the police, fire and public works department “are potentially about to put themselves in harm’s way to protect everyone,” as the threat of Hurricane Irma approaches Florida.
Curry was addressing the media on the hurricane.
“That’s the focus right now,” he said.
For months, supporters and opponents of keeping Confederate monuments in public parks have made their opinions known at City Council meetings and other events.
Hemming Park is in front of City Hall.
Last month, council President Anna Lopez Brosche announced her intention to inventory the city’s Confederate monuments ahead of possible relocation to museums or educational institutions.